Cyprus Mail

Cyprus goes to the polls Sunday to choose new parliament


OVER 500,000 people will be able to exercise their right to vote today for the parliamentary elections however it remains to be seen how many of those will actually do so.

In an election run with more than half of surveyed persons saying they were indifferent and only 10,058 young people enrolled out of 37,000 new voters, members of the public will have between 7am and 6pm to cast their vote.

There will be a one-hour break at midday.

A total of 1,136 polling stations have been set up in Cyprus and abroad, including the Nicosia central prisons for the 542,915 registered voters.

Specifically, there will be 429 polling stations in Nicosia, 331 in Limassol, 51 in Famagusta, 186 in Larnaca, 129 in Paphos and 10 abroad.

The number of registered voters per constituency is 193,192 in Nicosia, 111,810 in Limassol, 110,879 in Famagusta, 56,027 in Larnaka, 42,428 in Pafos and 28,579 in Kyrenia, reaching a total of 542,915 voters.

They will determine which of the 493 individuals vying for the 56 seats in parliament will make it.

There are 180 candidates for Nicosia’s 20 seats, 106 for Limassol’s 12 seats, 89 for Famagusta’s 11 seats, 51 for Larnaca’s six seats, 39 for Paphos’s four seats and 29 for Kyrenia’s three seats.

Five candidates can be voted for Nicosia, three for Limassol and Famagusta, two for Larnaca and one for Paphos and Kyrenia each.

People can only use the ‘x’ or ‘+’ or ‘√’ when selecting which candidates they want.

The campaign this year has seen much of the same comments regurgitated by parties. Promises to resolve the Cyprus problem, the economy and the health sector, runners up have been champions of the rights of the people.

Parties spent most of the campaign pointing the finger at each other for the 2013 economic collapse.

Most of the candidates, if not all, have pledged they – or the party they are associated with – can put an end to all the problems the island has ever faced.

Waiting lists, corruption, backhanders, nepotism, abuse of privileged position – none of this will go on, said every party.

In total, 12 parties, five independents and two candidates that have formed a group, are fighting to get the 3.6 per cent threshold they need.

Competition has gotten harder these parliamentary elections as formerly, the threshold that allowed was 1.8 per cent.

In the third round of vote counting, the threshold has been raised to 7.2 per cent from 3.6 per cent.

Police have said they were prepared for Sunday’s election in case tensions ran high.

The representative of the Armenian religious group Vartkes Mahdessian has already been declared as the representative of the Armenian religious group in parliament for the third time as he ran unopposed for the job.

Representatives for the Maronite and Latin religious groups will also take place through voting on Sunday.

About 1,500 unemployed university graduates have been commissioned to work in today’s elections, along with 3,500 civil servants.

The total cost of holding the elections has been estimated at €6 million.

Eligible voters who are over 18, can vote if they have a voting booklet or Cypriot identity card.


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